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Friendship Links with other Clubs

Swindon Club has a friendship link with S I Surulere (Nigeria). We are always delighted to meet with our Nigerian friends at the annual SIGBI Conference. (Covid allowing!)

We support each other over our Facebook pages but as yet don’t have a current joint project with them. Previously we managed an important Hearing Aid project with them. We met at conference in 2007 and member Gillian Reed,  an audiologist, asked if they could make use of the old analogue hearing aids she was replacing with digital ones.  President Chinwe and the members of Surulere jumped at the chance, as deaf children in Nigeria struggle to get an education as hearing aids are so scarce.

In Nigeria, it took time to persuade the authorities and obtain funding for an audiologist etc. but in 2008 they reported there were ready to receive aids.  Swindon members spent an enjoyable evening around the kitchen table to clean the 1st batch of c. 450 hearing aids.  On receipt, the Surulere Club arranged hearing tests and moulds to be made and fitted enabling the first group to get an education.

We sent further batches in 2010, 2012, 2015.  We tried to meet members of Surulere at every Soroptimist Federation conference if we can and in 2014 they were kind enough to give our Club an award for our part in this project.

Supplies then began to run out and in 2016 we cleaned our last batch.   That year, instead of posting them, we were able to meet our friends Angela, Orienda, Nneka and Chinwe at our conference in Malta.  Orienda was their Club President and had commented on email “304? That’s amazing!  We truly appreciate your efforts”.  We supplied about 2,500 aids in all.

We invited members from our friendship links to our 50th Anniversary celebrations in 2011 but unfortunately none were able to come.  We received good wishes from them, however, and a candle was lit in the honour of our Friendship Link Clubs during the formal proceedings.

Surulere Club sent us some beautiful items produced by women and girls they assist.  These were given to our guests at the 50th Charter Lunch.